I still remember the in-home we were on - it was several years ago in suburban Chicago.  We were interviewing tweens about sweetened cereal. Two of the girls, just 12, were showing us their smartphones.  What struck me were their choices of communication.  Instagram and Snapchat were everything to them.  Facebook was for old people, like their parents.  And why? Because of the pictures. It was a lot more fun to share pictures, they said, than just typing out a few words.  It was the old adage of a picture being worth “a thousand words. “

Coupled with the increasing use of emoticons in text, it was becoming clear how imagery was evolving to be even more important in communications with others.  The implication to me in that moment was around how marketing and advertising would have to evolve as Gen Z grew up.

Since those in-homes five years ago, as a society we’ve only moved closer and closer to becoming “Viz Gen.” Perhaps you’ve noticed your own increased use of pictures, images and emoji in your communications? Mary Meeker, in her annual report on internet trends in 2019, calls out that “…more than 50 percent of all tweets, for example, now include images. People are also taking more pictures than ever before and platforms such as Instagram are amplifying this relatively new style of digital communication.”

As it goes in our personal lives, so it goes in the workplace.  Visual storytelling has become easier than ever and increasingly important.  From icons that help clarify communication to pictures that draw viewers in and build an emotional connection, visuals are giving increased meaning and depth at work. I expect this will only accelerate as more and more Viz Gen (aka Gen Z) enter the work force and the rest of us adapt to the increasing ease of communicating with visuals.

As part of our Storymasters series, we’ve put together a guide to visual storytelling.  In it you will find examples of common business challenges with easy-to-apply storytelling solutions. For instance, what do you do when you can’t fit everything on one slide? Uou make the Big Idea the Big Picture. We’ll show you how.

How has your visual storytelling at work evolved?  What tips would you share?  Let us know. hello@ignite-360.com

Visual stories are just part of storytelling equation. Learn how to master spoken and visual stories, by joining Ignite 360’s Storymasters Series. Designed to be digested in bite-size pieces, the series builds over the year with tools, tips, and tricks that go beyond the why directly to the how, so you can become a storymaster.

In case you missed it, check out our other Storymasters posts: